Shortly after graduating from the University of Cape Town, South Africa with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Construction Management, Gaf and his wife, Pam Gaffen, moved to San Diego. During their first eight years, Gaf built an incredible reputation in the management and construction of real estate development projects. Ultimately, his entrepreneurial spirit took hold in 1987, and Gaf and Pam founded Gafcon to fulfill his vision of assisting owners in delivering complex projects supporting vibrant communities.
Today, Gaf lends his 40 plus years of experience and expertise to the programs and projects Gafcon manages—from once in a lifetime projects like Seaport San Diego and Zizhu Hi-Tech Development in Shanghai, China to our work supporting community capital programs like the City of Santa Monica and San Diego Unified School District. Gaf’s commitment to the local community extends to his service on various boards, including the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges, and Wende Museum Advisory Group. He has previously served on the boards of San Diego Taxpayers Association, San Diego Hebrew Homes, San Diego Jewish Federation, the Explorer Charter School, New Americans Immigration Museum and Learning Center, and the University of California, San Diego Cancer Center.
When he’s not at work, you can find Gaf outdoors, staying physically fit by golfing, working out, fly fishing, and bow hunting. His hobbies include collecting tribal art and antique maps, as well as adventure traveling.
Pam Gaffen, Co-founder of Gafcon and Chair of the Board, plays an integral role in the success and accomplishments of the company. With more than 35 years of industry experience, Pam is involved in the management of Gafcon by overseeing the corporate and operational functions of the Board of Directors, as well as integrating company values and culture across all departments.
Pam’s management experience with construction projects includes the largest shopping mall in Cape Town, South Africa and numerous high-end, custom residences. She redesigned and renovated both the building interior and exterior landscape of Gafcon’s corporate headquarters in San Diego, as well as the interior renovations of the Gafcon offices located in Los Angeles and Orange County. Her vision of the look, feel, and brand for the entire company is reflected in the workspaces she creates, which are a blend of modern aesthetics combined with Gafcon’s vibrant culture and her South African roots. Pam not only provides balance and an exquisite sense of style to the firm, she is key to the unique culture and values of Gafcon.
Pam enjoys cooking, travel, interior and landscape design, and collecting rare African art.
As Co-Chief Executive Officer, Robin is responsible for Gafcon’s day-to-day operations. A construction industry veteran with over 30 years of experience in program, project, and construction management, Robin has been a key Gafcon team member since joining the firm in 1998.
One of Robin’s goals is to further strengthen Gafcon’s focus on delivering quality projects for clients. He is known for his strong and productive relationships with owners, architects, contractors, and consultants. He is highly experienced with the management and development of public, educational, residential, and commercial/retail projects.
Prior to joining Gafcon, Robin was a development/project manager for Rabie Property Developers and construction manager for Resnekov & Neilson in his native South Africa. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Construction Management from Cape Technikon in Cape Town, South Africa.
Robin is a Board of Director for the ACE Mentor Program San Diego Chapter and is currently the Board Liaison for San Diego High School. He is also a panelist for Continuing Education for San Diego Community College District and is on their Corporate Council, which is an integral adviser to SDCCD regarding workforce education and training. From 2017 to 2023, with five years in the role as President, Robin served on San Dieguito Union High School District’s Independent Citizens Oversight Committee.
Robin enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, exercising, and swimming.
Bryan Benso has more than 30 years of experience in various fields, including public capital projects, tribal capital projects, master planning, real estate development, real estate LLC transactions, agency negotiations, and numerous other business acumen verticals. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated the critical skills and core competencies to grow an organization with strong internal and external public relationships. He is acting Managing Director of development pursuits for the Development division of Gafcon and as such his role includes identifying, sourcing, performing due diligence feasibility, and strategizing various investment projects. He provides managing partner oversight of all investment projects and the delivery of those projects within target investment metrics. Bryan also offers principal growth support to the Gafcon PM/CM group as well as the development of a corporatewide strategic plan for the future growth and success of Gafcon.
In 1994, Bryan was hired by Gafcon to serve as a Project Manager and in two years he was promoted to Senior Project Manager. In 2001, he was promoted to Director of Operations and in 2003, he was promoted to join the Executive Committee as Corporate Vice President. In 2008, Bryan joined the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians as the Vice President of Planning and Real Estate Development, where he provided owner representation and acted as a liaison between the SMBMI tribal and casino management, design consultants, and contractors on extensive development and investment projects exceeding $2B in value. He oversaw large, complex infrastructure projects, including a 25mw substation and a 5mw cogeneration facility.
In 2020, he returned to Gafcon as the Chief Development Officer. He holds a bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana -Champaign and a Tribal Administration Certification in Tribal Government Management from Clairemont McKenna College. Bryan was honored as a Character Counts recipient by the Public Safety Academy Charter Schools and in 2000 he was awarded Gafcon Project Manager of the Year.
He is an active member of the Lacrosse community serving for the last six years as the President of the Inland Empire Lacrosse Organization which introduces the Inland Empire’s youth to the great sport of Lacrosse.
Paul Najar is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Gafcon. Prior to joining us, he served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Anacomp Inc., a global document management company for nine years. He was responsible for all legal and administrative affairs including SEC reporting and compliance, M&A, corporate governance, litigation, licensing, real estate, human resources, and risk management. Before joining Anacomp, Paul served as University Attorney for the University of California, Irvine and Corporate Counsel for California Federal Bank.
He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Corporate Counsel, San Diego. Paul received a joint Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Humanities from the University of California, Irvine and a J.D. from the University of California, Davis.
In his spare time, Paul enjoys international travel, skiing in the Rocky Mountains, and European history.
Marty Glaske has been with Gafcon for 18+ years and currently serves as the Senior Vice President, Client Development. Marty holds a Bachelor of Science in Business, and a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Organizational Management, as well as multiple executive certificates. Throughout his professional career, Marty has worked for consulting firms, general contractors, and construction managers focusing on all aspects of operations, marketing, and business development.
Marty leverages more than 25 years of experience in the A/E/C industry with both public and private clients to define strategic, forward-thinking goals for the firm. Additionally, he is a member of the Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH), The Community College Facilities Coalition (CCFC), and sits on the Board of Directors for the Society for Marketing Professional Services, San Diego (SMPS), Construction Management Association of America, San Diego (CMAA) and the Business Development Association– Inland Empire Chapter. Marty was the 2006 Gafcon Employee of the Year, the 2017 Public Works Advocate of the year awardee presented by the San Diego/Imperial County Chapter of the American Public Works Association, and the 2022 Presidents Special Service Award Winner for CMAA San Diego.
Marty’s hobbies include fly fishing, golf, and travel with his wife.
David has more than 25 years of healthcare development and construction management experience, having managed billions in projects for healthcare facilities nationwide. His expertise includes planning, design, construction management, financial modeling, acquisitions, dispositions, entitlements, portfolio management and complex negotiations.
He has held a number of key leadership roles within the industry, including Corporate Senior Vice President of Development for Healthcare Trust of America, Vice President of Development at Duke Realty Healthcare, and Regional Director of Real Estate and Construction for Providence St. Joseph Health System in Western Washington. David earned a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and his Master of Real Estate Development – MRED degree from the University of Southern California.
Cade is a respected construction executive dedicated to achieving clients’ objectives and delivering their vision for facilities improvements. With years of professional experience managing programs and projects for educational institutions, healthcare organizations, and other clients, Cade understands the importance of developing relationships around demonstrated success and results.
Having over 20+ years of experience working in construction, Cade understands the value of industry relationships as well as the technical aspects of cost, schedule, and overall program/project delivery. He has worked in engineering, inspections, program and construction management, and as a general contractor. Still, he considers himself a student of the construction process and various contractual methods of project delivery. He is eager to continually acquire and apply formal education, certifications, and experience to understand all areas of his practice at a fundamental level.
Cade studied business at the BYU Marriott School and received his MBA from the ASU WP Carey School of Business. He is a Certified Construction Manager (CCM), Design Build Professional (DBIA), and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP).
Ron Takaki has more than 40 years of experience in the A/E/C industry and has led architectural, engineering and construction teams on large, complex project designs for a wide range of project types, including commercial, educational, hospitality, entertainment, healthcare, governmental, and residential markets. At Gafcon, Ron oversees the development, standardization, and integration of best practices for project and construction management. His goal is to make certain every member of our project teams have access to the knowledge, skills, staff, and technology to provide our clients with the highest level of services.
Ron is passionate regarding sustainable design and is a LEED Accredited Professional with a specialty in Building Design & Construction (LEED® AP BD&C). He is a California licensed Architect and has been a member of AIA since 1980. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, as well as certificates from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and industry certifications from the U.S. Army® Corps of Engineers as a Certified Quality Manager for Construction (CQM-C) and is a registered Safety Assessment Program (SAP) Evaluator with the California Office of Emergency Services.
Ron has been a guest speaker at the Graduate School of Design at Stanford University and the Ziman Center for Real Estate at the Anderson School of Management at University of California, Los Angeles. He is a member of the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) and the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), and has also served as a member of the Archdiocesan Building Commission with the Archdiocese Los Angeles.
Ron’s work on The Forum in Inglewood, CA garnered a win at the CMAA awards in 2015, as well as a preservation award from the Los Angeles Conservancy and the Westside Prize from the Urban Design Forum.
Outside of his professional life, Ron enjoys traveling, cooking, listening to music, playing golf, and is an aspiring winemaker.
Heather Skaife is the Director of PM/CM Private at Gafcon Inc. She has worked in the construction field for over 17 years in various roles including Project Executive and Director of Operations, and Project Manager. Heather has worked in numerous market sectors throughout her career, including public works, education, healthcare, hospitality, and special projects. Heather has managed both public and private projects in general contractor, developer, and owner’s representative capacities. In previous roles, Heather has served as a Program Director and Director of Operations overseeing project teams and all phases of large-scale construction and development programs.
Heather holds a Bachelor of Liberal Arts from the University of Alaska and a Master of Science in Executive Construction Management from Northwestern University. Heather is Design Build Institute of America certified and is a Certified Construction Manager (CCM). Active in the community, she serves as the Executive Board Secretary for the Construction Management Association of America San Diego Chapter and is the Executive Board Secretary for the CMAA Foundation. Additionally, Heather is active in California’s Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH) and Community College Facility Coalition (CCFC).
In her personal time, Heather enjoys reading, cooking with her husband, and watching her son play travel baseball.
Lizette Rodriguez is the Director of Labor Relations and the Labor Relations Business Line Leader at Gafcon, Inc. She has extensive experience in all areas of contract compliance monitoring, auditing, and the enforcement of applicable rules and regulations for state and federally funded projects. She has been with Gafcon for more than 10 years working with contractors, subcontractors, and organized labor representatives in resolving challenging compliance issues.
Lizette has participated in and facilitated various public works and labor compliance training classes sponsored by the Department of Industrial Relations, the Department of Labor, the Division of Apprenticeship Standards, the County of San Diego, and other labor organizations throughout the State of California. She is an expert matter speaker for several organizations and teaches complimentary Labor Compliance courses. Lizette is on the Barrio Logan “Building a Community Vision” team and was a part of a mentor protégé program focused on enhancing growth and opportunities for small local businesses.
Lizette received an Associates in Paralegal Studies and is a licensed paralegal with six years’ experience in workers compensation and civil ligation practices. She is involved in a variety of organizations including the Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH), Community College Facility Coalition (CCFC), and Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) San Diego.
Outside of work, Lizette enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, exercising, cooking authentic Mexican food, and tropical traveling.
Andrew is an experienced real estate professional with 25 years of experience evaluating and managing a wide range of real estate ventures from a financial, market, and operating perspective. Over the course of his career, Andrew worked as a VP/Director of Finance and Operations Manager for some of the top public and private real estate development companies in the industry, including Lennar, Kennedy Wilson International, and J.F. Shea Company. In these roles, Andrew provided financial leadership in the acquisition of well over $500M in assets, managed development budgets exceeding $400M, and secured debt and joint venture financing for land, apartment, hotel, and for sale housing developments.
Andrew has also worked directly for Gafcon for seven years providing financial and real estateadvisory services for public and private sector clients across all real estate asset classes. Andrew’s experience working directly for leading real estate companies while also servicing public and private sector clients in a consulting capacity provides a unique and valuable perspective for clients. Andrew’s primary areas of expertise include: Financial and Market Feasibility, Financial Planning and Analysis, Project Management, Financial Modeling, Project Financing, and Asset Management.
Andrew holds a Master of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Finance from Chapman University and a Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis in Urban Planning from UC Santa Barbara. Andrew also holds a California Real Estate Broker License.
In his spare time, Andrew enjoys spending time with family, exercise, travel, music, and reading.